As I’ve mentioned before, I am not a cat person. I prefer dogs. When we were first married, my wife had a cat. It hated me, so I didn’t feel that guilty about hating it back. It spent most of its days sitting on a sunny windowsill in deep thought. I imagine it was contemplating how to hold a knife without the benefit of opposable thumbs so it could slit my throat while I was sleeping.
A person never really owns a cat. To a cat, a human is just a useful idiot who feeds it. If it had those opposable thumbs to run a can opener, a human would be nothing more than an inconvenience. Some of you cat owners are going to say that you also change the litter box, but actually the litter box is for the benefit of the human. If it wasn’t there, the cat would find a nice flower pot, rug or bedspread to use instead. They really aren’t that fussy.
A dog will run around the house barking frantically when it has to go to the bathroom. It knows if it goes in the house, the human will be mad. Dogs don’t want humans to be mad. If nobody is home, and it can’t hold it any longer, it might go on the floor, but when the human gets home, it will hide in shame because of what it did. A cat on the other hand, uses the litter box solely to do you a favor. If the litter box isn’t there, is dirty or isn’t exactly where it usually sits, the cat has no problem using the carpet in the living room.
“Hey Bozo, the litter box was six inches from where it’s supposed to be, so I left you a present by the coffee table. Maybe next time you’ll be more careful, stupid human.”
For a dog, every time you walk through the door it is Christmas and their birthday rolled into one. They have an enthusiasm not found in any other animal. When have you ever seen a cat, hamster, parakeet or goldfish wet itself and run in circles just because you walked into the house?
“It seems like you’ve been gone since the Johnson administration.” Pant, wet, slobber, pant, wet, slobber. “I didn’t think you’d ever come back.” Pant, wet, slobber pant, wet, slobber. And that’s just when you’ve gone out to get the paper.
A cat really doesn’t care if you ever come home as long as you leave it enough food. With an automatic feeder and water, you can be gone for a month, and the cat is perfectly happy–or at least as happy as a cat can be.
“You’re back already? What, nobody else wanted to put up with you either? By the way, I left you a few presents here and there. Get them cleaned up, because I’m tired of living in this squalor, stupid human.”
If someone has a dog, everyone knows it as soon as they come through the door. It will come up to be petted, slobber on you or smell everyone’s crotch. I know people who say they have a cat, and I’ve never seen it. It’s always, “downstairs hiding in the basement” or “it only comes out at night when we’re sleeping.” Personally, I’d be worried it was spending its nights sitting by the knife block trying to figure out that opposable thumb thing.
By the way, the sequel to In The Sticks is going well. I’m thinking about calling it In The Lake. Also my thriller County Ops is on sale for 99 cents until September 24.